How Ireland brought civilisation to Britain

How the Irish brought civilisation to Britain during the Dark Ages

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Britain entered the Dark Ages. It wasn’t long before the land now known as England was taken by Germanic and Danish tribes including the Angles and the Saxons.

The civilisation that had existed under the Romans disappeared and the societies went backwards and descended into a system of local clans. Christianity, which had been linked with much of the civilisation such as wealth, knowledge, law, literacy and art disappeared from the land and was replaced with pagan belief systems.

How the Irish brought civilisation to Britain during the Dark Ages

While this was happening many of the Christians and scholars fled to Ireland, where a new civilisation was dawning. Ireland became known as the ‘Land of Saints and Scholars’.

After around a century of this new culture growing and developing all over Ireland, some Irish monks headed back in Britain to spread their way of life.

Part two of the BBC documentary ‘How the Celts Saved Britain’ looks at the challenges that faced the Irish as they went first into the land that would become known as Scotland to introduce Christianity to the pagan people. The first part of the documentary looks at how Christianity and civilisation had spread across Ireland a century earlier. Click here for part one

Part two also looks at how the Celts were able to convert the Saxons in the land that would become England, after a relatively unsuccessful attempt by the Romans.

Take a look at part two below.

Part One – How Ireland became the ‘Land of Saints and Scholars’

How the Celts saved Britain Part two